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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Serologic (Spiroplasma Motility Inhibition Test) and Molecular Homology among Colorado Potato Beetle

Authors
item Hackett, Kevin
item Lipa, Jerzy - IPP POLAND
item Gasparich, Gail - SUNY
item Lynn, Dwight
item Konai, Meghnad - NONE
item Camp, Mary
item Whitcomb, Robert

Submitted to: Journal of Applied & Environmental Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 3, 1995
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The Colorado potato beetle (CPB) is a major pest of potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant. Presumably, it spread from host species in central America to the Mexican plateau, followed by multiple invasions of North America and Europe. Attempts are being made to control the beetle by using a genetically engineered spiroplasma (a helical bacterium), found in its gut. In the current study, spiroplasmas isolated from beetles collected in North America and Poland were found to be similar, suggesting multiple spiroplasma introductions into both geographic areas. Two varieties of spiroplasma were found, one in northern North America and at high elevations in Poland, the other in southern North America and at low elevations in Poland. The existence of spiroplasma variants should be taken into consideration when choosing strains for biocontrol. This information should be of use to those developing genetically engineered bacteria for biocontrol of agricultural pests.

Technical Abstract: The Colorado potato beetle (CPB), Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say), is a major holarctic pest of solanaceous crops. Presumably, it spread from Solanum host species in central America to the Mexican plateau, followed by multiple invasions of North America and Europe. Attempts are being made to control the beetle by using a genetically engineered spiroplasma, found in its gut. In the current study, spiroplasmas isolated from beetles collected in North America and Poland exhibited serologic (spiroplasma motility inhibition test) and genomic (RFLP) profiles that suggest multiple spiroplasma introductions. Two serovars were identified, one found in northern North America and at high elevations in Poland, the other in southern North America and at low elevations in Poland. Data suggest a latitudinal cline in North America. Patterns of genovar distribution are coincident with those of serovars. The possible existence of biovars (intraspecific taxal units reflected by genotypic and serological differences) should be taken into consideration when choosing strains for biocontrol.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014